Happily, not only is GMLP celebrating its milestone Tenth Anniversary/Tenth Media Literacy Week, it is thrilled to report another great milestone … an important milestone for the nation, really! U.S. Media Literacy Week.
Our hats are off to NAMLE for working so hard to achieve this milestone. And to the Canadians for living and breathing this academic field to the fullest, “walking the talk” in both scholarship and practice. They have done it right for years, being models for the world, actually, with formal and informal education institutions modeling the cross-curricular integration of media literacy. And, almost more important, Canadians “get it.” They understand the importance of being empowered to be media literate throughout one’s life…that the stakes are too high not to be. And that when it comes to negotiating and navigating LIFE, no matter the arena--at home at work, in the community and abroad--those critical-thinking skills will kick in….making way to be wise, thoughtful, caring and discerning citizens, in a global society that is really just a keystroke away.
I think back, having been on NAMLE’s national board of directors for close to five years, how my fellow board members and the people around the country whom we served so often dreamed out loud about this day when the nation would have a week of its own….just like a lot of other interests do…and here we are, we’ve done it.
Why have leaders in the field all over the country rallied so long for this recognition? Many of us believe citizens who are media literate will have a key 21st Century learning skill—critical thinking regarding media’s myriad messages, both as consumers and media creators.
Overjoyed! Ecstatic! Blown-away! Can I yell “Yay” enough? Am I elated? You betcha. My expressions of elation may be a little conventional, but it is in the spirit of media literacy being for ALL people…anyone who has or desires access to media; anyone who creates media.
That U.S. Media Literacy Week is finally being celebrated across the country is music to many ears...But when the publicity ends, what will YOU do? Are you prepared to continue this conversation? To talk to citizens, public officials and educators about the need for sustained media literacy education in a rich digital communications world?
Anyone who cares about media literacy and media literacy education has an obligation to sing its
praises…and at the same time point to the evidence that tells communities who are considering “taking the plunge” …it works, folks; it really does!
Jessica Z. Brown
Founder and President Gateway Media Literacy Partners, Inc.